national news. thank you so much. a big piece coming up tonight 7:00 eastern on cnn. we look forward to that, as well. furthering this investigation. thanks for watching. good to have you here. wolf starts now. this is cnn breaking news. >> hello. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we begin with breaking news. we have a key race alert. donald trump has reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the republican presidential nomination. we are waiting for a donald trump news conference scheduled to begin later this hour. we will bring that to you live. cnn's delegate estimate puts donald trump at 12 sell sdts.
we will bring you reaction we are getting from the democratic presidential front runner hillary clinton who is campaigning this hour in los angeles. let's bring in our panel to discuss what is going on. donald trump clinching from our estimate the republican presidential nomination. we have our cnn chief political correspondent dana bash with us. our senior political reporter and cnn political director and john king our chief national correspondent and the anchor of inside politics. david, walk us through from our vantage point official, he has the nomination. he has the majority of delegates he needs to win that nomination. >> 1,237 was the magic number we have been shooting for which republican was going to get there? 50% plus one delegate needed to
secure the nomination. you were right to note that how could this happen on a day without a primary or caucus? it is because cnn has been reporting how these unbound delegates who are not -- their vote is not related necessarily to a primary or caucus result. they are free agents. we have been talking to them and finding out. some of them were previously uncommitted. some were committed to other candidates who have dropped out but have moved to trump's column. he crosses that magic number and he has all but secured the nomination. he won't officially become the nominee until votes are cast in cleveland in july. but he will keep that presumptive nominee title that he has been using for the last little bit and clinched now. i just think if we had said a year ago that donald trump would be clinching the republican nomination before the nomination race was over. >> or clinching at all.
it was a surprise that he got in. people didn't take him seriously. people didn't think the crowds he was getting in states across the country would equal votes but here he has done something remarkable. this is an historic day. i think you have to say wow. he has done it. it means something significant for the republican party. they have been grappling with what it means for months now. >> almost a year since he announced he is running for the republican nomination. 17, maybe 18 republicans running for that republican presidential nomination and now he has secured the majority of delegates. he will be the nominee. >> i remember last year being in florida for jeb bush's announcement which everybody was focussed on. avenue one saying tomorrow in new york.
>> it is hard to believe it has been almost a year. he worked hard and did a lot of rallies. he was donald trump and hat is what the republicans wanted. >> this is a huge day for donald trump and a big day to reflect on disruption in american politics. defined by tea party and by voters who said cut spending, say no to obama. now they have picked as their nominee two mid term elections defined by ridged anti-obama, anti-taxes strict conservatism. they picked a man who says economy has done better under democrats and has been in favor of single payer health care. donald trump is the nominee of the party of lincoln and reagan especially after what we have seen in the last five years
tells you there is something remarkable, different and big going on. >> now comes the big test because throughout all of that time this last decade of the republican party i think it started in the george w. bush administration. what we saw the party bucking the establishment on immigration, certainly on the bailout in the end of the george w. bush administration and then the obama era and tea party is defining thing where all that energy is and whole conversation inside the republican party is how do we harness that energy but not be hurt by it lectorally. this is the culmination of that decade and now we learn if it can produce a victory.
reach out to different minority groups, african-americans, young people and in some ways donald trump has sort of buried that autopsy disregarded and we saw that yesterday and slamming martin martinez. >> i think points about how things are different and the fact that number one quality that donald trump has as a disrupter is really important. for those of us covering on congressional level, senate level or presidential level. there were boxes that candidates and campaigns felt they needed to check. sort of exceeds and supersedes those questions. people going to the rallies as i
have, people just are so over washington and politicians and doing things the old way and that's why it is what it is. >> he managed to win the republican presidential nomination just being himself doing what he wanted to do. to be more presidential but if you go to rallies and watch rallies over the past week or two since other republican candidates dropped out he is continuing to do what brought him this far already. >> trump is trump and trump is going to be trump. there is a war within the campaign team. you have speaker of the house saying we might get to unity but we are not going to pretend. we are going to try to reach agreements and get there. within his own campaign. there is a tug of war, some call
it a firing squad within the trump campaign. at the moment today he is officially the republican nominee. but he has the math and in a moment of celebration there is turmoil everywhere within the republican party and around the country but his approach is this has worked every time they tried to pull him back, don't chainsaw people and go into new mexico when you have a problem with the republican party establishment and problem with women and latinos. go in and beat up the chair woman of the republican governor's association who happens to be a woman. this is the style and don't expect it to change and at the moment at the moment his position has improved. that doesn't mean he can win in november and in a dead heat with hillary clinton now. means it will stay that way.
that fight still goes on. donald trump's position now is better than it was a month or six weeks ago. if you are donald trump you are fine with that. >> it is not just what he is doing to buck conventional wisdom. the example is the ultimate example. the governor of new mexico who he went there this week and trashed her because was upset. what he appears to be doing internally as he is trying to make this transition from primary candidate to general election candidate and to try to figure out how he who is such an unconventional candidate is going to build a national campaign has been incredibly bumpy. they fired rick wylie yesterday. trump fired him. >> why? >> for several reasons.
mostly the turf war, the old guard that donald trump is loyal to and that is one reason but also the tug of war in terms of personality and loyalty but also the tug of war of the best way to go about things. for example, my understanding is that a big part of the fight inturpally was that as rick wylie was building state teams which is what you do for a national campaign, in florida trump wanted the person who helped and so there was a clash. >> very quickly, this puts enormous pressure on other republicans who have stayed out of it and have endorsed donald trump to come on board. >> certainly adds to pressure that they have been feeling. we were saying goeback a year. a few weeks ago we didn't know any candidate was going to get to 1,237.
th the strength is never going away. he was never to vanquish the opponents. if that didn't bring the party together and the republican party is consolidating i do think the whole establishment will feel more pressure between now and cleveland to present. >> republican voters in the country if you look at polling they say get over to establishment. people are saying he won fair and square. our capitol hill team i see an e-mail asked about reports that trump secured nomination of ted cruz who thought this would be his nomination. call my press office. >> everyone stand by. we are getting reaction from the bernie sanders campaign to the news that donald trump has clinched the republican presidential nomination. bernie sanders campaign manager
you see him live standing by. once again we are awaiting donald trump. he is getting ready to answer reporters questions at a news conference now that he clinched the republican nomination. we bring that to you live. stay with us, lots of news. ♪ approaching medicare eligibility? you may think you can put off checking out your medicare options until you're sixty-five, but now is a good time to get the ball rolling.
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♪ no, you're not ♪ yogonna watch it! ♪tch it! ♪ ♪ we can't let you download on the goooooo! ♪ ♪ you'll just have to miss it! ♪ yeah, you'll just have to miss it! ♪ ♪ we can't let you download... uh, no thanks. i have x1 from xfinity so... don't fall for directv. xfinity lets you download your shows from anywhere. i used to like that song. welcome back. we are awaiting a news conference from donald trump now that he has officially clinched by our estimate the republican presidential nomination for president of the united states. it is set to start in a few minutes. you are looking at live
pictures. i will make a statement and start answering questions, as well. you will see it live here on cnn. we are also waiting to get reaction from hillary clinton. she is getting ready to address a rally. we will have coverage of that monitoring both events. we will bring them to you once they begin. donald trump gets enough delegates to clinch the republican presidential nomination. let's get reaction from the bernie sanders campaign as jeff weaver and joining us live. thanks very much for joining us. we saw this coming but he has reached by our estimate 1,237 delegates. that's enough to get the majority. he will be the republican nominee. what is the reaction from the bernie sanders campaign? >> the reaction is that democrats have got to do everything they can to defeat donald trump. he would be a disaster for the country. he wants more tax breaks for the rich. he thinks wages are too high and
thinks climate change is a hoax. his views on choice are horrendous. his bigoted and derogatory comments about latinos, women and every other group is intolerable. this candidate has to be defeated in the fall. this gets back to democratic race on superdelegates to take a hard look at sanders campaign and clinton campaign and make a judgment. >> what about the issue of a debate between donald trump and bernie sanders? you saw what was said last night on the jimmy kimmel show and donald trump asked would you debate bernie sanders and he said yes if revenue went to clarity and bernie sanders tweeted he is in. where does that stand? a lot of people thought it was a joke. y. thought it was serious. joke- we are ready to debate donald trump. we hope he will not chicken out.
i think it would be great for america to see these candidates and the different visions for america going forward and we'll have to see does donald trump have the courage to get on the stage with bernie sanders? >> have there been conversations between your campaign and his campaign? >> there have been a few discussions, yes. as mentioned earlier there is a sort of division in his camp on a number of issues and this may be one of those. he has despite his unscripted appearance he has a number of handlers and so we'll see which side wins out. like i said, we hope donald trump has the courage to get on the stage now that he said he would. >> can you tell us where the conversation is taking place? who is talking to who? >> i prefer not to go there, wolf, if i could, because there are bullet manner discussions. i do want to say that we view
the offer as serious and have accepted the offer and we hope donald trump does not chicken out. he has a lot of bluster and flimflam. if he gets on the stage with bernie sanders i think he will be exposed on substance on number of policies to hurt working families and i think it would be valuable for the american public and large viewership. if he wants to be exposed to a lot of people and has the courage of his convictions he will work out details with us and get it done. >> have you discussed with television news organization to host such a debate? >> well, all i can say is that we have heard from i think every network. there is a tremendous amount of interest in this. i think it would have a large viewership and get a lot of publicity. if donald trump wants to defend his substantive issues on stage with an opponent with a different view i think it is a great opportunity.
>> he said whatever revenue is generated he wants to go to charity. he has been active in veterans organizations. what charity would bernie sanders want the revenue to go to if this debate were to take place? >> well, we haven't really discussed that. to senator sanders has been leading advocate his entire career. he was chairman of veterans affairs committee and worked to pass the most sweeping veterans health care reform legislation in a generation. the senator is very fond of veterans. if the issue, we can figure that out. >> we'll see if that debate takes place. we know that bernie sanders wants it to take place before the june 7 primary in california. appreciate it very much. thanks very much for joining us. >> happy to be here. >> just the thought of a president trump has many world leaders apparently nervous right now. they have gathered at the g 7
summit talking to president obama about their concerns. >> they're rattled by it. and for good reason. a lot of proposals display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what it is that is required to keep america safe. >> let's go to our senior international correspondent live from london. trump is still presumptive republican nominee until the delegates meet in cleveland and cast their votes on the convention floor in july, this is a step from trump's standpoint clearly in the right direction. he is for all practical purposes
the republican nominee. what is the reaction you are getting around the world? >> well, wolf, i think it is no secret that donald trump has been ruffling quite a few feathers overseas with some of his more controversial policies and his ascent is subject of fascination across the world from syria to politicians in paris, everybody is always asking me on the road about trump. there is definitely widespread concern about his perceived ignorance had when it comes to world affairs especially here in the uk. earlier this year we heard that british prime minister calling his comments about banning muslims from traveling to the u.s. he called the comments divisive, stupid and wrong. just today we heard from newly elected mayor of london. he called trump's views ignorant and not just the uk. the saudi princes have called him a disgrace.
mexico's former president compared him to hitler. and china's state run newspaper denounced him as big mouth and abusively forth right. what is interesting is that since trump became the presumptive republican nominee the rhetoric has definitely softened. we are likely to see that continue as world leaders continue to grapple with the real possibility that they are going to have to deal with a president trump. >> is there anyone out there in the world stage, an important figure who isn't nervous about a trump presidency? >> well, there is one very obvious one we all know and that is vladimir putin. he has called trump, quote, an outstanding and talented personality. that is not exactly a surprise. if you look at some of trump's more isolationist policies they are likely to appeal to countries like russia and china which see previous administrations as having to
contain their rise. >> thank you very much. coming up, we are standing by for the two live events, donald trump about to hold a news conference in north dakota after clinching the republican presidential nomination. we are waiting to see if hillary clinton has reaction to the trump news when she takes the stage in las vegas. stay here. live pictures from las vegas. you see that right there. we'll be right back. you pay your car insurance premium like clockwork. month after month. year after year. then one night, you hydroplane into a ditch.
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right now we are standing by to hear from donald trump after he clinched the number of delegates needed to reach the republican presidential nomination. they hold a news conference before heading to planned rally in bismarck, north dakota. jim acosta is at that rally. this was supposed to be just another campaign stop but it has become more now that he has clinched the nomination, he has the magic number of 1,237 wrapped up. what are we expecting to hear? >> reporter: we are going to hear from donald trump twice here in north dakota. originally we thought this was just a policy speech on energy from donald trump but of course as you can see i'm inside an arena in bismarck, north dakota
and this is basically a rally. it does appear the gop nominee will be reading from prepared text. i use the term gop nominee instead of presumptive nominee because as we have been reporting donald trump has clinched the number of delegates to officially reach the republican nomination. my understanding from talking to advisers earlier they believed hours ago that they have hit the magic number and that a press availability was scheduled. so we will be hearing from donald trump within the next hour. it was scheduled for about five minutes from now. we think it is pushed back a little bit. donald trump will hold a news conference. i expect he will take note of the fact that he is now officially clinched the republican nomination and take questions from reporters. there is a lot of questions that will be asked. he will be asked about the phone call that he had last night with house speaker paul ryan. i talked to a trump source earlier this morning who said this was a positive and
productive conversation. there was no endorsement given during the call. we are not expecting an endorsement from house speaker paul ryan anytime soon. i talked to a trump campaign adviser who said we are going to give the speaker of the house all the time he needs. there are lots of other questions to be asked. he has been tearing into elizabeth warren and hillary clinton of late. he and the clintons have been firing back and forth in a heated war of words. i felt like a general election campaign. donald trump going after hillary clinton and bill clinton's personal lives. i talked to a trump adviser who said if hillary clinton is going to continue to talk about donald trump's real estate purchasing during the housing crisis that they will go after the white water affair that was a headache for the clintons back in the '90s. there is a whole basket of questions that i'm sure the press will be bringing to donald trump when he heads into the room. he will be doing the press
conference from a separate room set up on the fly to give you a sense of how the news is developing with donald trump clinching the republican nomination. he will thank supporters within the hour. >> very happy indeed. we will have live coverage of that donald trump has clinched the republican nomination. we still shouldn't expect to see his tax returns, though. his chief strategist says he would be surprised if donald trump released returns regardless of ongoing irs audit. he says they would likely be too complicated for american public to understand. hillary clinton released hers while bernie sanders released 2014 tax return. there is no law saying that presidential campaigns have to release their tax returns just been the tradition going back to the '70s.
one senator wants to make it a law. he is the member of the senate finance committee. he is joining us live from capitol hill. thanks very much for joining us. why to you want to make this a law of the land that presidential candidates, presidential nominees release their tax returns? >> first of all, wolf, it is important to note that this means that mr. trump is the first nominee since water gate not to release his tax returns. and i certainly hope that he will do the right thing and provide these answers, these answers that speak to your personal integrity to the american people. if he doesn't i think it is important that congress pass my bill. >> his campaign chairman said this to huffington post, i would be surprised if he puts them out y. wouldn't advise him to. his tax returns are complicated.
i wouldn't understand them so how are the american people going to? the financial disclosure gives salient points. and then says the only people who want the tax returns are the people who want to defeat him. you are a supporter of hillary clinton, right? >> first of all, i am, wolf, but the reality is and polls have shown that americans overwhelmingly want this information. this has been an expectitation for more than 40 years. by the way, a majority of republicans want it. and the excuses that mr. trump keeps giving, for example, that he's under audit for several of his reviews, that is an excuse. it is not a reason. the irs says these can be made available. >> his lawyers and tax accountants said we talked with other lawyers and others say it is a legitimate reason and don't want to go public with a complicated audit that could
complicate what is going on between the irs and tax accountants. keep it quiet after the audit is complete a good time to release the tax returns. what do you say to those accountants? >> that is just a parade of excuses. the reality is the irs says that you can make this available. this is part of what kids do when they are trying to conjure up excuses. the reality is we have 40 years of tradition. democrats and republicans, i have made it clear that this should apply to all nominees. by the way, let's put this in perspective. you mentioned the fact that i am the ranking democrat on the finance committee. you now could have a situation where mr. trump's nominees would have to make available three years worth of records if they were assistant secretary they would be held to higher standard than commander in chief. that's not right. >> senator from oregon, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me.
right now hillary clinton just started speaking at a rally in las vegas. donald trump is getting ready to answer reporter's questions at a news conference. let's listen in to hillary clinton right now to see if she reacts to the breaking news. >> rewarding experience for me to be introduced to all of you. i want to thank your secretary
treasurer. and i have to thank another good friend, your executive vice preside president. [ cheers and applause ] and i can look out here and see both ufcw members from new york who i worked with and as your senator and a number of members who i have met over the years particularly over this past year during this campaign. i am so proud to have earned your endorsement earlier this year because from raising the minimum wage to comprehensive immigration reform to at last getting equal pay for women your fights are my fights.
i have to tell you, when i am at a big rally and i see those gold shirts out there, it really makes me feel good. i will always be grateful for your help in this campaign. you have knocked on doors, opened up your union halls. i was at local 326 24 in orange county, california just yesterday. you have helped to turn out the vote here in nevada and across the country. when i was at the union hall yesterday in california i had a great chance to meet with a lot of your members there. it would be political malpractice if i didn't say we
got the california primary, new mexico primary. we have montana, north, south dakota. we have new jersey. we have puerto rico. i am looking for those gold shirts and looking for your help as we finish off those contests on june 7. like a lot of great things in our country, our campaign is union built including my terrific labor outreach director. [ cheers and applause ] now, nicky has gone with me to a lot of different union meetings and conventions. first time she has had on a
union shirt. because that's her union. and you have had my back and i will always have yours. as i travel across the country i have talked with fast food workers, pharmacists, retail employees and i have heard over and over and over again there has never been more at stake for working families in america than there is right now. this election should be about knocking down all the barriers that hold families back, building ladders of opportunity in their place, coming together to get incomes rising, creating more good jobs that provide dignity and pride. i'm the granddaughter of a factory work who are operated a loom at the scranton lace works in pennsylvania. my father put everything he had into a really small fabric printing shop in his small business in chicago. my mother was out on her own working as a house maid at the
age of 14. so i grew up respecting the dignity and hard work of what it takes to provide a solid middle class life. >> we are going to continue to listen to hillary clinton. she is in las vegas. she is meeting with union workers out there. she is grateful for their endorsement. we will hear what she says and hear if she reacts to the noouz that donald trump has clinched the republican presidential nomination. he has gone to the magic number of 1,237. we are standing by for his news conference supposed to begin momentarily in bismarck, north dakota. let's take a quick break. we'll be right back. okay, ready?
party unity think again because the nominee spent the last few days railing against leading republicans and attacking candidates that conceded and going after some top female republican leaders including the governor of new mexico susanna martinez. >> she's got to do a better job. okay? your governor has got to do a better job. she's not doing the job. after a while, you sort of give up like poor mitt romney. poor mitt. i lock at this guy. i mean, i have a sore that's worth more money than he is. he wanted my endorsement. begged for it. he wanted my endorsement and now all he does is go badmouth. donald trump shouldn't run. ba ba ba and walks like a penguin on to the stage. have you ever seen him? penguin! many of the people that i
competed against endorsed me and jeb hasn't done it yet. he will get a burst of energy and he will do it! believe me. telling you. he needs a little more energy. >> not mincing any words. joining us is s.e. cupp and katrina pearson and political editor of right alert, a trump supporter, as well. katrina, why is he doing this? now that he clinched the republican presidential no, ma'am nice, why is he going after other republicans? why isn't he trying to unify the whole party? >> mr. trump is trying to unify the whole party and what we continue to see are some of the individuals in the party who continue this never trump mantra. when we never saw the #never romney mantra. this is a reaction. mr. trump is at the rallies, engaging with his thousands of fans. again, this is mr. trump. he engages with them, has fun
with them. this is normal. we keep saying he's going to change and change and i've always told you mr. trump is not going to change. he's going to continue to be mr. trump and having fun on the trail. >> it's worked so well. >> yeah. >> beat 16 or 17 other republicans and he thinks the same strategy if you believe katrina will work against, let's say, hillary clinton. >> yeah. and it might. what i would appreciate, you know, katrina says he's never going to change. he keeps saying he's going to change. he'll unify the party. he has people like paul manafort saying he's going to unify the party. slamming the new mexico governor, slamming the chairman of the rnc personally, slamming the rnc and other republicans and republican presidents is not unifying the party. as i've said before wears the republican party like a rented tuxedo. stop pretending to be interested in unifying the party. you're not.
you don't think you need moderates to win. maybe that's true. >> katrina? >> with the exception. he did not say he was going to change. he said i can change if i want to. that's a really big difference. we have our supporters saying, no, mr. trump, don't change. this is exactly why he beat 16 moderate establishment republicans. is because he's not that -- that cookie cutter politician. he's a real person. he's engaging. and the people love him for that. >> angela, what do you think hillary clinton's strategy should be? because donald trump's strategy going after 16 or 17 other republicans worked and if he continues against hillary clinton how should she respond? >> well, wolf, we know it's tough to respond to someone ever changing and i disagree. i think that he's constantly changing and why it's been so hard to hold him accountable to one position because of that position, of course, changes from one minute to the next. i think we got a really good glimpse of hillary clinton's strategy today and the speech you showed she said, we're going
to focus in this election on knocking down barriers and if you contrast that with the candidate who's talking about building a wall regardless of how big and beautiful, that is exact difference right there. there's a complete 180 between the two positions. she's trying to extend olive branches to may not like her or find her trustworthy and may have challenges with instead of someone trying to construct walls an barriers to people that don't disagree with the positions or he believes shouldn't be here. >> you read that paul manafort interview i assume, katrina, and he said donald trump is softening his position, moderating the position, opening positions that you go into negotiations with but they're going to evolve. you saw that. >> he was speaking more of tone, not the actual position an i'll remind everyone that hillary clinton voted for the border fence. thing is, mr. trump's positions have not changed. whether or not he says them
differently, that's a whole other discussion. whether you're talking about muslim immigration ban and reported as ban all muslims not the case and simple fact to say i'd be happy to walk that back if we have a procedure in place. there's two pieces to the puzzle. i think that's what's missing here with the talking heads on tv to focus on one portion of what mr. trump says on the policy and not the whole picture. >> do you think he's evolving, for example, on the temporary ban on muslims coming the u.s.? >> there is a difference when you start out by promising you'll do it and then mexico will pay for it and then say it's a suggestion. it is difficult for voters the know what you are promising as a potential candidate. what you will do as a president no matter how hard it is, no matter the opposition, no matter the climate or the environment. this is what i promise to do. and, you know, the trump campaign can sort of, you know,
modify the language and tweak the words to make it all make sense and still doesn't and that's why a lot of voters are skeptical of donald trump and what he stands for. >> let's play a little clip. this is a clip of an interview i did with donald trump back in 1999. at the end of the bill clinton administration. listen to this. in your book you say of mrs. clinton, a wonderful woman who's handled pressure incredibly well. >> i agree with that. i think she's gone through terrible times, i think she's been through more than any woman should bear, everything public. women go through this on a private basis and can't take it. she's on the front of every newspaper. i think she is a wonderful woman. >> is she qualified to be senator? >> i think she is. running from another state, i think i would support her. she is a really terrific woman. >> very nice words of hillary clinton at that time. he's evolved that position since then. >> well, i mean, it is like saying are you still best friends with the high school
best friend? probably no. >> yes. >> he always says nice things about people out in the public. he just not purposely going to go out there and respond in a different way attacking him or his family for that matter and only confusing the people here in the d.c. bubble. voters, a lot of them, do get it. why you saw recordbreaking support. you see tens of thousands of independents and democrats coming out and supporting donald trump because voters. >> s.e. are the republicans going to unite around donald trump? >> i think you are seeing republicans saying they couldn't lining up behind trump. people are partisan and want republicans to win and hillary is a contemptible person and a terrible candidate and going to see republicans making the calculation, okay, i don't like donald trump but i really don't like hillary clinton. >> from that perspective -- >> what happened with mitt romney and paul ryan. many of us supported the conservatives but at the end of the day we put the signs in the day and walked in the districts. >> all right, guys.
we'll continue to watch what's going on. standing by to hear directly from donald trump getting ready to hold a news conference in bismarck, north dakota, any moment now and live coverage of that coming up. he's now clinched the republican presidential nomination. anxious to hear his reaction. stay with us. the news continues right after this quick break. you pay your car insurance
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hi there. i'm brianna keilar in for brooke baldwin. on this milestone day, trump has received enough delicates to clinch the nomination to be the republican nominee for president. as you know, he needed 1,237 delegates to win this nod in the first round of voting at the national convention in july. no election held today but in just the last few hours,